Purdue researcher: Grocery prices may have hit their peak

Purdue researcher: Grocery prices may have hit their peak

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A Purdue University researcher says grocery prices may be leveling off.

Joe Balagtas, director of the Center for Food Demand at Purdue University, says that it costs a family of four $500 per month to buy groceries; however, some relief may be in sight.

“Grocery prices in the last four or so months in 2024 have not been rising. Food price inflation hasn’t been high in the last five months, but we’re still kind of stuck at a high level.”

Egg and chicken prices are still higher than they should be because of avian flu, and a drought out West is keeping beef prices up.

“On the other hand, fresh fruit and vegetable prices have come down a little bit, and dairy prices have come down a little bit,” Balagtas said.

Balagtas said don’t expect food prices to come back to pre-pandemic levels because deflation rarely happens in the United States.

On another food topic, dining out is getting more expensive due in part to worker wage increases. Consumers may have an easier time shopping, as Target and Aldi recently announced a price drop on hundreds of essential items.

“I think restaurants and grocery stores do compete for consumers’ business, and that’s a good thing, that pushes them to push down prices when they can.”

Casual sit-down restaurants such as Chili’s and Applebee’s are trying to lure customers away from from fast-food places with comparable prices for higher quality food.